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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fr. James Martin, S.J.: A Shot Across the Vatican's Bow

The video below is so dishonest it's breathtaking and can only be seen as a shot across the bow of Vatican authority. Fr. James Martin is a prime example of the lying Jesuit of which, unhappily, there are many today. As the culture editor of America Magazine he continues the liberalism and dissent of former ousted editor, Fr. Thomas Reese. His own personal liberalism is shown in spades by an article he wrote promoting homosexuals in the priesthood as well as this video about the nuns that misrepresents the Vatican action.  (Father conflates Rome's limited action against the 1500 member LCWR with all the sisters in the United Sisters who do not belong to the LCWR.)

In the video, he also distorts Church history stating that Vatican II wanted the sisters "out in the world" and out of their habits which is simply untrue. While he cites documents by name he gives no examples from the texts to support his statements. He says the Church called the nuns to wear the "every day dress" of modern women which is a direct lie. Perfectae Caritatis called, not for modern dress, but for habits that are "simple and modest...poor and becoming." Does that sound like business suits and pearls? Fr. Martin also presents a litany of sisters he considers exemplary that includes some of the most infamous dissenters in the Church. Let's take a look at some of his sister heroines.

Sr. Mary Luke Tobin
Sr. Tobin, who went to her heavenly reward in 2006, was among the group of radical feminist nuns described in Donna Steichen's book Ungodly Rage. She saw her vocation in the Church as, in the words of Rosemary Ruether (another radical dissenter), providing "global power" needed, not to win souls for Christ, but as a "force for change." In her book Prodigal Daughters, recounting the reversion stories of Catholic women coming home to the Church, Steichen credits Tobin (and several other of the sisters lionized by Fr. Martin) as the architects of the "public relations campaign designed to foment rebellion against Church athority." As head of her order, the Sisters of Loretto, and head of the Congregation of Major Superiors of Women which later became the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Tobin was well-placed to be that "force for change" beginning with radicalizing her own community. She bragged at the 1987 Women-Church Convergence meeting about the tactics used to manipulate the more traditional sisters in her order. Many left. The others stayed to focus on projects that "embrace the cosmos" and work as an NGO (non-governmental organization) at the U.N. A history of the Loretto sisters shows exactly how radical the shift was which included promoting the Equal Rights Amendment, women's ordination, women's control over their bodies, and homosexual rights. This was Tobin's legacy.

Sr. Joan Chittister
Another heroine of radical feminism praised by Fr. Martin is Sr. Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun, and a regular contributor to the National Catholic Reporter, the dissenters' mouthpiece. Chittister is a long-time opponent of Church authority and a proponent of women's ordination, even after the Vatican declared the male priesthood part of the deposit of the faith. In 2000 she defied direct Vatican instructions not to participate in the worldwide conference on women's ordination in Dublin. She went anyway giving the keynote address where she said the Church's understanding of God "as Father" interferes with the development of a healthy Catholicism. The conference ended with a mock Communion service described in Time Magazine. "There was no official celebrant. Instead, all participants joined in blessing the bread and wine." In the picture illustrating the article one woman beat a drum. The caption read, "Women lead a new-age liturgy in their drive to change Vatican policy." In Chittister's warped theology, doctrine is policy and disobedience is obedience to self. Her writing is filled with challenges to Church authority on both doctrinal and moral issues.

Sr. Elizabeth Johnson
In 2011 Johnson's book, Quest for the Living God, was declared by the U.S. bishops to be unfit for use in schools because of theological errors. The book, "does not accord with authentic Catholic teaching on essential points," they wrote in their critique. Particularly, with regard to the Trinity, the bishops stated that Johnson, "completely undermines the Gospel and the faith of those who believe in the Gospel." It's not surprising. Johnson has been at the forefront of radical feminist theology for at least forty years and in her earlier 1992 book,  She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Theological Feminist Discourse, created a new feminist Trinity whose persons are "Abyss, Word, and Spirit." Johnson is a signer of the 2000 Madeleva Manifesto, a feminist dissent document. Johnson compares her "feminist Christology" to the heretical liberation theology movement. Johnson is the icon of feminist rage ranting against "patriarchal oppression," "sexism," "androcentrism," and the "dominating male." For her, the religious life isn't about vocation, but about power and fighting for her share of it.  Johnson supports the dissident group Call to Action and has keynoted their annual convention and called their mission a "charism." She apparently sees no conflict between attacking the Church and identifying with a group that supports contraception, abortion, homosexual activism, and other position diametrically opposed to Church doctrine.

Sr. Joyce Rupp
Feminist nuns are often into eco-spirituality and new-age practices. Sr. Rupp is one of them. Her spirituality writings are filled with new-age confusion. She describes her unity with all the elements of the cosmos and mixes pagan practices from Buddhism, Native American Spirituality, and the Sufi tradition of Islam in her eclectic faith. Her Servite Center of Compassion teaches a number of new-age practices including the enneagram which Fr. Mitch Pacwa condemns. Rupp's book, The Star in My Heart is filled with feminist imagery of Sophia Wisdom and spouts the typical feminist claptrap that "...it seems evident that Sophia is the feminine face of God. This aspect was eventually lost due to a highly male-dominated culture and a church that was very fearful of the goddess." Rupp's bibliography is filled with dissenting Catholic feminists.

That Fr. Martin has produced this video implying a Vatican "attack" on all nuns is disingenuous at best. He, like the radical nuns he praises, uses distortion of Vatican II for his own purposes. Priests like him apparently believe that by undermining Church authority they can recreate the Catholic faith as a bland Unitarianism that stands for nothing but personal fulfillment. Any orthodox Catholic seeing this video knows one thing for sure - Fr. Martin is one of the bad priests we should warn our children against. As I said to my kids when their Catholic high schools were preaching heresy, "Just because a man is wearing a roman collar, it doesn't mean he's telling you the truth." That goes double for Fr. Martin!

(Hat tip to Olivia for sending me this video. Thanks, Olivia, for shifting my focus today from working in my garden to working in the land East of Eden where Adam and Eve were driven after their sin. )

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is such a sad chapter in Catholic history. Thank you for the short crash course in the infidelities of American women religious - and thank goodness the Vatican has begun to take some action against it.

While we're at it, thank goodness for the women religious who suffered tremendous persecution under the tyranny of false reforms...and thank goodness for the current crop of young Sisters blazing across the landscape. There is much to be grateful for!

Stephanie

James Martin said...

Thanks for your very kind and very charitable comments about my tribute to Catholic sisters. As a fellow Catholic and a priest, I very much appreciated your giving me the benefit of the doubt, respecting my vocation and approaching my tribute in the spirit of Christian charity.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

You're welcome, Father. I've known too many priests like you over the years who work hard to undermine the faith of our children. I've seen the devastation among my own relatives. Jesus said we would know people by their fruits and yours and your magazine's are poisonous. As for "respecting your vocation" you might try doing that yourself.

Anonymous said...

A little reminder, Mary Ann, regarding your entry on Sr. Joyce Rupp - you say:

"Her Servite Center of Compassion teaches a number of new-age practices including the enneagram which Fr. Mitch Pacwa condemns."

Father Pacwa is a Jesuit who's book "Catholics and the New Age" should be on every Catholic's reading list regarding such new-age practices as the "enneagram."

As Cardinal Ratzinger said in "The Ratzinger Report":

"I am, in fact, convinced that what feminism promotes in its radical form is no longer the Christianity that we know; it is another religion."

Much of what the women listed above promote in the Church - and Fr. Martin supports them - oftentimes is, in fact, "another religion."

Catechist Kevin

Cannoli said...

Interesting how when the dissenters (many of them girly-men) are called out on their support for things non-Catholic, they immediately appeal to “respect” and, of course, “charity.”

What happened to their respect for the authority of the Supreme Pontiff? Where is their charity for those poorly catechized Catholics bewildered by the conflicting non-Catholic messages promoted by these unfaithful individuals who may from time to time still wear the Roman Collar?

If these sad individuals truly believed that what they are doing is right and just, then they ought to be able to defend their words and actions within the framework of Church teaching.

Obviously, they are not able to defend their dissent and so they appeal to the the fuzzy spirit of Vatican II concept of “charity” (read: anything goes).

Good job, Mary Ann.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I agree with Fr. Martin - it is those of you who are so filled with anger that are dangers to our faith. The church does not exist in a vacuum and those who long for the 'good old days' often forget how horrible they were.

Dymphna said...

I'm waiting for the day when the Vatican takes a hard look at the Jesuits.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see anger and vitriol, go to almost any article in the National Catholic Reporter and read the responses. Never would I have thought that Catholics (CINO) could be so vicious. It's like the devil went by with a bandwagon spouting the same senseless drivel and everyone got on board. Sad.
AuntieD

Anita Moore said...

Sorry, but I agree with Fr. Martin - it is those of you who are so filled with anger that are dangers to our faith. The church does not exist in a vacuum and those who long for the 'good old days' often forget how horrible they were.

Actually, it's the heretics who long for the "good old days": the good old days of paganism. That is why they reject everything about the Church that distinguishes her from paganism, and has always distinguished her from paganism -- including the all-male priesthood, which goes all the way back to our Jewish forefathers and set them apart from the surrounding idol-worshippers. This is the ultimate in a dog going back to its own vomit.

roseofsharon said...

I'm convinced that the Jesuit Order has been infiltrated. The Jesuits were always known as the shock troops of the Vatican and some took a 4th vow to defend the papacy. Fr. John Hardon SJ (whose cause for canonization has already been introduced} was one Jesuit who took the 4th vow. He said that he never realizied how much suffering this vow would cause him! Pray for the orthodox Jesuits who have kept the faith in its fullness.
Re: Fr. James Martin's video, the holy Jeusits whom I have known must be rolling over in their graves at the NY Province Jesuit cemetery at Auriesville, NY

Maria said...

Mary Anne: You have done a magnificent job of exposing the truth. "Fr. Jim"--(we don't call priests by their last names anymore, do we?)won't be happy until sodomy is made the eighth Sacrament and all our Churches are vandalized. Once accomplished, he will grimace and tell us that this is the work of the Holy Spirit. Toward that end, he and his pals at America Mag, will use anyone as tools to further this end. Hence, the alliance with, and the obsequious pandering to, these "Sisters" who subscribe to the heretical notions shared by he and the boys at America Mag. Martin is technically no longer the "culture Editor", though, as I like to say, it is not for nothing that he was made so. He recently stepped down. He and and confreres are working day and night to establish their homosexual kingdom. Trust me, they will stop at NOTHING in an effort to have their own way; however, God may have other ideas:

http://youtu.be/v5yeMgvdo_E

James Martin said...

Your uncharity in that last comment is absolutely shocking. Questioning my vocation as a Jesuit is beyond the boundaries of any sense of Christian charity whatsoever.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Well, Father, maybe you can explain for me and Maria why Jesuit colleges love to feature the scandalous V-monologues which is a lesbian play and why they have pride groups, "queer" film fests, drag shows, etc. ad nauseum. It certainly does seem there is an inordinate attraction to all things homosexual among the Jesuits.

The reality is that the Jesuits are guilty of major scandal misleading and destroying the faith of the young. Statistics show that young people who attend Catholic colleges are more likely to stop practicing the faith than those who attend secular schools.

Just look at Georgetown featuring Kathleen Sebelius as a graduation speaker. We can always count on the Jesuits for another scandal.

I'm happy to say, however that I know one Jesuit who is holy and courageous. He is also ostracized.

James Martin said...

It's one thing to critique Jesuit colleges for those things; it's another for you to attack publicly my vocation. It's just shocking. I would never question your vocation, and I would expect that a Christian would always treat someone the way that he or she would wish to be treated. Surely that's that kind of charity is least we can do for one another. It's frankly just stupefying, and I could barely believe that a Christian would treat anyone that way.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm... maybe because we don't fear homosexuals like you do? I am a heterosexual woman, married for more than 20 years and see nothing wrong with homosexuals being allowed to marry. And I really can't see how God has a problem with that, either. The official doctrine of the church is that you are born to be either homosexual or heterosexual and we must show charity to all. Charity, however, is something that you are very unfamiliar with. I read your blog to be vigilant about how people filled with hate masquerade behind holiness. Danny D.

Lynne said...

The nuns of the LCWR have lived out lives of poverty, chastity and *obedience*?!!! Obedience to who or what? It wasn't the Pope or the Magisterium of the Church.

Thank goodness we have many orders of nuns which are truly poor, chaste and obedient and their orders are overflowing (and coincidentally(?), the nuns are traditional in dress)...

Anonymous said...

Fr Martin,

Oh cut the whiiiining, would you? You’ve written a total of 4 sentences in these comments, and all 4 of them included the word “charity”. Funny, I didn’t see you use the word at all in your recent WaPo article--especially when you called others “vindictive, cruel, mocking” and “snotty”. Not real chaaaritable there, Fr.

We are called to admonish our brothers who are in error. Was Jesus being uncharitable when He admonished the Jesuits as a “brood of vipers”? [Grrr, dang spellchecker. I meant to write “Pharisees”. Ok, just following your lead in employing satire.]

Sorry, Father, Maria speaks much truth. Facts are stubborn things…but not as stubborn as a Jesuit scorned.

Is that disrespectful or uncharitable? Then PROVE ME WRONG! Jesuits are undeniably scandalous, as Mary Ann details in her most recent comment. All Jesuits? Of course not, but unless I hear you condemning that activity--admonishing your brothers--then I’ll draw ordinary, reasonable & prudent conclusions.

In all due respect & charity.

Maria said...

Father Martin: There is an awful lot eveidence of your steadfast efforts to undermine the teachings of the Church. Though this list is long, it seems necessary:

Part I

America Magazine What Should a Gay Catholic Do?
Nov 13, 2009 ... Author: James Martin, S.J.. Here's a real pastoral question to consider: What place is there for the gay person in the Catholic Church?
www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?id=81913739-3048

It's Not About Homosexuality: Blaming the Wrong People for the Sexual Abuse Crisis
www.huffingtonpost.com/...james-martin.../its-not-about-homosexuali_b_537810.html

The Vicar of Christ and My Gay Friend - NYTimes.com
thepope.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/17/who-cares-about-the-pope/

John Jay Report: On Not Blaming Homosexual Priests
www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?entry_id=4229

Gays and the Church: Two Stories from Today
www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?entry_id=4272
***ALSO PUBLISHED AT NEW WAYS MINISTRY JUNE 11, 2011***

Colbert's Chaplain on “Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity
newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com/.../colberts-chaplain-on-respect-compassion-and-sensitivity

Here is a comment on this article by other than Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director at New Ways Ministry (whose comments are always welcome by James Martin at America Magazine’s blog called “In All Things”): I’ve only offered highlights here. The entire posting is worth a thoughtful read. Too often, we only hear negative messages about LGBT people from church leaders and commentators. It’s refreshing and uplifting to read something positive from one of Catholicism’s most respected writers and commentators. Thank God for Fr. Martin!
************************************************************************************

Here is Fr. Martin supporting the ‘It Gets Better Project”—sounds very “Christian” but what he is really saying, essentially, is that the Catholic Church hates homosexuals and he is here to apologize for the Church:

http://youtu.be/nYW3YQe0Dao

“The “It Gets Better Project” describe themselves thusly:
The” It Gets Better Project” was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The “It Gets Better Project” wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.

Maria said...

Part II

What is the It Gets Better Project?
In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.
The It Gets Better Project™ has become a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 40,000 user-created videos viewed more than 40 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of "Glee", Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres, Suze Orman, the staffs of The Gap, Google, Facebook, Pixar, the Broadway community, and many more. For us, every video changes a life. It doesn’t matter who makes it.
Archives for The Eponymous Flower » EXPOSE LIARS.COM > THE ...
[url=http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2010/06/james-martin-sj-wants-more-homosexuals.html]
exposeliars.com/wordpress/?author=12231

What is a Catholic response to gay suicide?
www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?entry_id=3363 ***THIS ARTICLE ALSO APPEARED IN NEW WAYS MINISTRY NEWSELTTER VOLUME 30, NO.4 WINTER 2010-2011***uati of Vol. 0, No. 4 New Ways Ministry Winter 2010-11

Rev. James Martin, S.J.: 'A Prayer When I Feel Hated':

www.huffingtonpost.com/...james-martin.../a-prayer-when-i-feel-hated_b_754165.html
USCCB Condemns New Ways Ministry; Gay Ministry Responds
www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?id=48484462-3048...

Hingham, Same-Sex Marriage, and Life Issues
www.catholicnewsagency.com/.../jesuit-magazine-editor-popes-comment-on-same-sex-marriage-against-the-gospel**ALSO PUBLISHED MAY 17, 2010 AT NEW WAYS MINISTRY VOL 30, NO. 2***

In what way is robbing people of their faith and confirming others in their sin charitable?

Kathleen said...

I was educated by an order of catholic sisters through grammar school and I attended an all girls private Catholic high school during the 80's. The younger sisters were actively involved in social justice activities and made it a habit to pass around petitions for the students to sign. I always refused to sign them and was ridiculed for my conservatism by these lovely,sweet, charitable ladies. They were typical liberals. I had to swallow,tolerate and be nice about every piece of crud they forced on me but when I asserted myself I was ridiculed and made fun of in front of fellow students because I came from a conservative family. What a tremendous waste of money for my dear parents. My experiences with these sisters is one of the main reasons why I homeschool my eight children.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

As my dear, departed mother used to say, "Actions speak louder than words." and "If the shoe fits, wear it."

Anita Moore said...

The official doctrine of the church is that you are born to be either homosexual or heterosexual and we must show charity to all.

This is a false statement of the official doctrine of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church at 2357:

Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

The Catechism goes on to say that homosexuals must be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity, and not be unjustly discriminated against -- which is not the same as accepting homosexuality as a normal, feasible alternative to heterosexuality. You do not show charity to homosexuals by encouraging them in their sin, such as by condoning gay "marriage." As soon as you encourage a person in his grave sin, you become that person's enemy. What you are really saying to that person is that you hope he goes to hell when he dies.

Maria said...

Amen, Mary Anne! Cornelia Connelly ;)

"To say that the sacrifice of our own ideas and way's calls for humility is only to restate what must be a spectacle to the angels. The Church's authority tells the faithful to accept her teaching and her directives on pre-marital chastity, on priestly celibacy, on chastity in marriage by not interfering with the life process, on the value of confession for children, on the strict and very rare conditions for general absolution, on the vestments that a priest is to wear at Mass, or the recitation of the Divine Office by those in priestly orders, on the rubrics to be observed in the Eucharistic Liturgy, on the whole gamut of Catholic doctrine like the papal primacy, the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and the meaning of sin. I said when the angels see what's going on on earth it's a spectacle. I don't quite know what I am saying, but I am sure the angels must weep at the lack of humility as a result of which those whom God has called, even to His deepest intimacy, fail in loving Him. They reverse the prayer of Jesus in the Garden, "Not your will, but mine be done"-and they mean it, they really mean it. I've reasoned, I've argued, given people every possible cogent reason for not insisting on something which the Church said was wrong. "Don't you see that the Church insists: 'You may not do this, you may not teach this'?" But they have a reason and the reason is their will. In the bible of Satan the first verse reads: "in the beginning was the deed. And the deed was contrary to the will of God; and God was left to take the consequences."

--Servant of God John Hardson SJ--He whom they persecute even in death.

James Martin said...

Well, clearly my responses are just feeding your hate. So goodbye.

Anonymous said...

Good bye, "Father" Martin, good riddance.

Maria said...

"...know that error always conceals its designs: error is always deceitful. Error is falsehood, deceit is hiding the falsehood. People look for evil as evil, or error as error. They have been beguiled into embracing evil as good and error as the truth; so they have truths, partial truths, aspects that are true; but by the time you've swallowed the sweet pill you realize it is cyanide. Falsehood, then, is always cunning. The evil spirit is always the erroneous spirit. He tries, if he can, to deceive good people under specious designs. Note, therefore, that falsehood cannot succeed except through cunning. From the first fall of the human race to the last fall of the human race, from the first sin to the last sin that will ever be committed, it is committed because people have allowed themselves to embrace falsehood through being deceived by cunning. Falsehood would never take people away from God unless they were deceived into thinking that what is false is really true."

--Servant of God John Hardon SJ

Anonymous said...

If Fr. Martin feels his priestly vocation is assaulted by some comments here, maybe he should take a look at Fr. Steven Scheier's video on youtube -- the priest who was condemned to hell. Better your feelings are hurt by us Father....
MaryG

susan said...

No 'father', your ACTIONS are feeding my (and other true Catholic's) righteous outrage.

Anonymous said...

As someone who does consider herself a true Catholic, I can only say that I must stop reading this blog. While it is like a train wreck (difficult to look away from) and entertainment of the first order, I have realized that it is just as detrimental as reading trashy tabloid magazines. While your sensationalism isn't about Hollywood stars, it is just as damaging. I'll miss the back and forth but will try to fill my time more with prayer that charity, respect, and goodness will prevail over whatever it is you think Catholicism is all about. Deleting bookmark, now. Maria

breathnach said...

Father Martin is an advocate for the "spirit of the age" and shuns the scandal of the cross. Pascal deemed this worldliness: "licking the earth". In the spirit of ecumenism, I'll quote Melville in Moby Dick, "Woe to him who seeks to please rather than to appal!"

Father's constant invocation of ad hominem attacks characterizes Leftist secularist polemics. The great majority of contemporary jejune Jesuits seem unable to marshal the casuistry that contributed to their historic reputation as dubious reasoners. They have, once again, chosen to become mouthpieces for the elites, instead of defenders of the Faith. Pathetic.

Maria said...

Hi BN:

Well done, BN! I think what Fr. Martin does not understand is that when you spit in the face of Christ, it angers those among us who still love Him, his precepts and the Church He founded.

Ray Schneider said...

The fact that one blog reader pulled out is fascinating. Apparently defending the truth isn't enough.

My impressions, for what they are worth, are that Fr. Martin was playing the usual line of any criticism of others is uncharitable and so should be avoided. Of course that is a strange position coming from a priest. We are called to admonish sinners by the scriptures and Jesus was the one that characterized the Fr. Martins of his day as "whitened sepulchers." How uncharitable!

The Jesuits seem to have fallen upon hard times. As someone who received eight years of Jesuit education I find this particularly disappointing and the cause of some distress. I would like to see faithful religious.

I recall being admonished by a nun a few years ago for daring to suggest that Jesus was really and truly and substantially present in the Eucharist ... Did I miss something? Isn't Trent taught any more? The sister tried to shut me up with something like "Are you a theologian?" in a dismissive tone of voice. I think my answer was, "No sister, I'm a Catholic, what are you?" (actually I probably only thought the "What are you?" part).

I think it is very praiseworthy to live a dedicated vocation as a religious. But I think it is disgraceful when religious dissent from the faith. Just quit if that's the way you feel. The church is One Holy and Apostolic ... as one old nun said of dissenting nuns, "I'll pack your bags." Fr. Groeschel tells that story.

Anonymous said...

@ Ray - your comment made me think. I guess that I, a lifelong Catholic, have not really been pressed about the subject of the Eucharist before. However, I would venture to say that most of the Catholics I know in the pews, myself included, do not really believe that Jesus is "present" in the Communion wafer. I think it is a nice symbol of the sacrifice that Jesus the human made, but I do not think that the bread is actually divine. It's not that this isn't taught, it is just that it seems like a nice, old tradition. When my son and then later my daughter balked at receiving First Communion because it seemed "gross" to "eat Jesus" I told them that it wasn't really Jesus - it was bread and it was a symbol. That's what I believe in my heart. However, it would seem that you think that makes me not a Catholic? Hmmmm.... food for thought.

Maria said...

Ray, all of the men in my family were educated by the Jesuits--three generations. They have baptized us, married us and helped to Shepherd us homeward to our last end.

Only those of us who have been close to them, who knew how good and holy these men were ( and still are---there are faithful Jesuits who are persecuted for their fidelity e.g. Fessio, Pacwa, Spitzer, Hardon still-- RIP,and I am sure countless others who names we can't know ), can begin to understand how painful it is to witness the damage done to the Faith 24/7 by men like Fr. Martin and his compadres. We are heart sick. I have cried over the things I read at America Magazine, and not just about what I read, but I have wept over how they behave. No doubt, Fr. Martin has no idea what I am talking about. I pray and fast for these priests. They have no idea... We have to keep praying. With God all things are possible.

Ray Schneider said...

Odd really how people can have this cafeteria mindset. The Catholic Church is either the church Christ intended to found and which He promised would be protected against all error because He was sending the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth, or it is not. If it is not then one has to question if any Christian church can be since only the Catholic Church (and perhaps the Orthodox) go back to the beginning.

If what the Church teaches is not true then why would you stay? I have told many Protestants that if I came to disbelieve in the Catholic Church I would not become a Protestant but more likely a Jew. They seem to be horrified by this.

The Church teaches that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ whole and entire under the appearances of bread and wine at the consecration. This is a teaching that is original. Jesus said "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood you shall not have life in you." Many stopped following Him saying "These are hard words indeed." No doubt this is still true today. You either believe Jesus or you explain Him away.

Are you a Catholic if you don't believe the fundamentals of Catholic teaching? I would say not myself. You are certainly not confessing the doctrine which the church teaches. But as the good sister pointed out, I'm not a theologian and it is certainly not my role to decide who is or is not a Catholic. How many doctrines do you have to reject before you stop being a Catholic?

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Anonymous, the central belief of the Catholic faith is that Jesus is really present (Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity) in the Holy Eucharist. A lot of Jesus' disciples didn't want to believe it either -- Read John 6. Many left Him over that teaching ("Who can listen to this?") and He turned and asked the twelve if they wanted to leave Him too. Peter had the faith to say, "Where shall we go. You have the words of eternal life."

Jesus promised to never leave us orphans and He gave us the Eucharist in fulfillment of that promise. He is physically present in our tabernacles waiting for us like a beloved friend. Whenever we receive Him worthily we become more like Him because we are physically united to us. (To put commonly - You are what you eat.)

During the Guatamala earthquake I read a news story about a mother and daughter trapped in the rubble for about a week. They had only a jar of jam. When that ran out and the little girl cried, her mother cut her fingers and let the child suck her blood. (Gross?) It saved the little one's life and the mother believed she was going to die, but wanted her daughter to live. That is a great image of the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is also the daily bread promised in the Our Father. Jesus is the Bread of Life and without Him we have no life.

The many encyclicals on the Eucharist as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church make the doctrine crystal clear.

Whenever I have a hard time with something the Church teaches (I remember the struggle with Church teaching on contraception.) I read the documents and pray, "I believe, Lord, help Thou my lack of faith."

Anita Moore said...

If it is true that many Catholics in the pews think the Eucharist is only a symbol, that is tragic. It is even more tragic if they go up and receive Communion in that frame of mind. And how horrible that they teach this error to their children.

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 11:29)

Anonymous said...

Ray, as a convert to the Catholic Church from Protestanism, I agree with you. After years of studying many Christian denominations and non-christian religions, I decided that if the Catholic Church was not the one started by Jesus Christ, than none of them were. I too would become Orthodox Jewish if I did not believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ. As Cardinal Newman, another convert, once said, "To be steeped in history, is to cease to be Protestant." Although I never got a full college degree, I was in the classical Latin Club and the Knights of Heroditus, the history club, in public high school in the 1950s. Actually, most Protestants have one foot in Christianity and the other foot in Judiasm, but they just do not realize it, and the Catholic gentlemen who says he does not believe in the Real Presense has one foot in Judiasm, too. May God open their eyes.

Anonymous said...

I picture "deleting bookmark" Maria (Anonymous 1:42 ) walking away with her hands cupped over her ears, repeating loudly: la la la la la la la la la ....


MaryG

Maria said...

Anonymous at 9:23

“The essence of what we believe here is that God is present as man. The Eucharist began with the Incarnation, in the womb of Mary. Except for her there would be no Jesus and without Him there is no reality to speak of, in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is unqualifyingly Jesus Christ! Our faith tells us that Christ, true God and true man is present on earth as He is present in Heaven. We know the Ascension was no make-believe but Catholics also believe that Christ is now present on our altars as a living human being, whose divinity assumed our nature. He is completely, identically, numerically, the same Jesus Who was born of the Virgin Mary, Who will judge us on the last day, and Who we hopefully will see in glory forever afterwards... we believe that Christ is in Heaven but that He is truly also on earth. Scripture tells us that the night before Jesus died He gave His Apostles, His successors on earth the power to do what He did at the Last Supper - change bread and wine into Himself. This is Catholic Faith: it is what Reality means.” John Hardon SJ

Anonymous: I am not a Catechist or a theologian so I don’t want to mix you up. So, I would recommend going to Fr. John Hardon’s website called therealpresence.org
A list of topics will come up. Click on Eucharist. There are tons of articles. I promise you: he will help you understand what we understand as the Eucharist: the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity."

The Lord himself is the best teacher. Sometimes it helps to hear how someone else came to believe in the Real Presence. I lived in darkness under just an avalanche of sin and suffered for decades with all sorts of illness and loss. After a fire in 2002, I lost everything I owned. I also suffered the loss of a relationship--the only man I ever wanted to marry, with many other losses still to come. Not knowing what to do I started going to Mass one day, and then every day, and then I started going to Adoration, and often. He created in me a new heart. I was changed. Why? I now knew: He was in me and I was in Him. Just go. His heart is BURNING w/ love for you and me. Don’t worry about trying to understand. Go and He will lead you. Fr. Hardon taught me my faith. Unfortunately, there are many priests who have lost their faith and so they cannot transmit it. This is why many people, like yourself, believe the Eucharist is a symbol. It isn’t your fault. They themselves do not believe in the Real Presence and so cannot teach you. I promise you. Father Hardon will help you. Many lives have been changed through him. God bless you. I will keep you in my prayers.

http://youtu.be/yh9P2Znc1Tw

Maurice said...

Fr. James Martin, S.J. has a big enough heart to defend Sr. Elizabeth Johnson in the pages of America Magazine. Is his heart not big enough to embrace Mother Angelica?

Fr. James Martin, S.J. has a big enough heart to reach out and comfort the sodomite. Is his heart not big enough to embrace the Sixth Commandment, "You shall not commit adultery"? So that the sodomite might enter heaven?

Fr. James Martin wallows in the wreckage of Liberation Theology, his side or his religious/political affirmations have become more important than his priestly pastoral responsibilities to all Mankind.

Because we love him, his ordination and his vocation we are compelled to critique his viewpoint and pray that he works under the direction of his Master.

Elizabeth D said...

In regard to religious who actually are same sex attracted, a 1990 "Instruction" in regards to consecrated life, a category of document which has force as law in the Church, specified that "those who do not seem to be able to overcome their homosexual tendencies, or who maintain that it is possible to adopt a third way, "living in an ambiguous state between celibacy and marriage" must be dismissed from the religious life." http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccscrlife/documents/rc_con_ccscrlife_doc_02021990_directives-on-formation_en.html

Anonymous said...

Charity is one thing. Truth (capital T) is another. Feel good "mental flossed" truth with a small "t" is deadly. Jesus was not "Charitable" with the Pharisess, was he? No, Truth (big "T" Fr. Jim) was more important, in regards to eternity). If old "Jim" would spend more time inside his Scripture than his "own feelings") he'd be less of a "wolf in sheeps clothing, tickling the ears of those who seek his Kool Aid opinion. Um, "Jim" I suggest you check out those two verses about "leaning not on your own (chosen post-modern) understanding (lest you mislead), and the one about "the heart being deceitful above all things). "Father Jim", absolute SHAME ON YOU for leading others into hiding behind the "post-modern" facade of "tolerance is more important than truth", and in turn serve up more of the perditious "Kool Aid" at the risk of bending scripture to fit your "moral relativism". Perhaps "Jim" should read a book by one of his own (A View from the Altar by Fr. Bleichner) about what caused the John Jay report in the first place. Don't take this as anger "Jim", just direct. (unless you choose to spin "direct" because you don't "like" it). We should feel compassion for homosexuals, as we would other habits that scripture says are SINFUL. (Catholic Bible, Jim; not yours. The Churches. Suggest you spend less time "proof texting" and scripture bending, and more time getting back to the fundamentals of THE faith. (Not "your" faith). But then, perhaps, it's all about "you"? No, it's all about HIM. He's God. You're not. HIS scripture, not yours. HIS Church not yours. I'm sure you mean well, but so did the Inquisitors. You just use bad doctrine instead of stakes. Both are deadly.

Tim Brantley said...

Fr. Martin,

Perhaps if you would simply state that the teachings of the Church in these matters are correct....I've heard you state that they are very clear many times, but I've yet to hear you state that they are very correct..This is why people question your fidelity. If you believe as the Church believes, then why on earth would you refuse to simply say so????

Anonymous said...

Father Martin needs to get off this Doctor feel good cart. I respect those sisters that have given their lives for Christ, but they also sadden me. I will leave it at that. I would like Father Martin to do a TV review of the communities of young women who are not afraid to wear a habit. These women teach in schools, universities, hospitals and are social workers. If you want to see a future in the Church in the USA, check out the Nashville Dominicans Website. Check out the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, and many others. I mention these two because I have two friends that each went to one of these communties. I am looking at the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George. I am studying for a year in Germany now.
Just cut the Bull Father Martin.

Michelle Mcdermott said...

Wow. I am at a loss for words. The Eucharist is most certainly the Body , Blood , Soul and Divinity of Our Beloved Savior.
I will pray for you to learn and understand The Real Prescence.

Michelle Mcdermott said...

They need all the prayers they can get. I will join you.

Steve Cherry said...

I would never believe a word "Fr." Martin says or read anything he recommends. We are supposed to have a well formed conscience. Nothing he says or does helps towards that.

Mary Fran Cherry